Author Topic: Should I seal interior use cedar or not?  (Read 4269 times)

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Offline nasmeyer

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Should I seal interior use cedar or not?
« on: March 24, 2010, 12:49:43 PM »
I am going to build a sleeping loft in my hunting cabin that will be made from exposed 2x6 cedar joists. I will have a 2x6 cedar rail around the top edge, and 2x2 cedar spindles connecting the rail to the outer loft joist. My question is whether I should seal the cedar or not. I like the aroma of the cedar, and feel sealing it will eliminate the aroma. On the other hand I have been told that the cedar will split/crack over time which I don't want either. What have other people done with cedar and have been satisfied with the results? A side note, my cabin is not climate controlled.

Offline Don_P

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Re: Should I seal interior use cedar or not?
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2010, 01:26:54 PM »
A sealer or lack of sealer will have no effect on checking of dry interior wood. A sealer will keep it from getting grungy and make it easier to clean if that is a concern. The smell will fade by itself.

Offline ScottA

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Re: Should I seal interior use cedar or not?
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2010, 01:27:03 PM »
You might want to treat it with some tung oil from time to time to keep it from drying out too much. I would be worried about splinters in a sleeping room floor. Something to think about. Maybe someone else has a good answer.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Should I seal interior use cedar or not?
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2010, 02:11:29 PM »
I would definitely seal it with something as otherwise as the other Don pointed out places where it is touched will discolor, get grungy, over time. If you seal at then least any grunge is easier to clean up. As for the aroma you could always leave a strip or two of the aromatic type laying around behind the furniture.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time and money to fix it?

Offline Don_P

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Re: Should I seal interior use cedar or not?
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2010, 04:05:30 PM »
It is a common misconception that wood can dry out too much or that we need to "feed" wood (thank you madison avenue for volatile oils, which evaporate, with which to feed our furniture). Wood dries to a point of equilibrium with the relative humidity of the air around it. It does not dry beyond that point of equilibrium. No finish can seal wood from reacting to the humidity of its surroundings, none are really sealing it in that sense, they all have differing rates of permeability but the wood will finally dry to the same equilibrium moisture content, or emc. It doesn't matter what you wave over it or smear on it, interior wood will end up at the same state of dryness.
http://www.woodbin.com/calcs/shrinkulator.htm

Offline nasmeyer

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Re: Should I seal interior use cedar or not?
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2010, 04:18:30 PM »
I would be worried about splinters in a sleeping room floor. Something to think about.
I will have a plywood floor over the 2x6 joists which will make up the sleeping area.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Should I seal interior use cedar or not?
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2010, 07:02:48 PM »
We have bare cedar in the bedroom  - about 6 years now - no real change except minor color change that we notice.  Most of our wood inside is unsealed - pine and cedar - I think it looks fine.
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Offline zion-diy

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Re: Should I seal interior use cedar or not?
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2010, 07:13:40 AM »
I have both. red cedar floor in living room that's sealed with clear gloss urethane, (for foot traffic) and un treated cedar in our food pantry. Sad to say, the smell does finally disappear.
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Re: Should I seal interior use cedar or not?
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2010, 11:05:54 AM »
To get the aroma back, I think you only need to scuff up the wood a little bit with some sandpaper. Read about doing it in a cedar trunk, I imagine it would work for a room as well.

Offline Don_P

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Re: Should I seal interior use cedar or not?
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2010, 12:06:45 PM »
Yes exposing fresh wood will refresh the smell. We've just crossed species. I'm pretty sure we were talking about western redcedar in the original post I'm fairly sure. A cedar chest is typically made from eastern redcedar. You can also buy cedrol, the essential oil of the eastern redcedar.

Aside;
Western redcedar is a thuja, eastern redcedar is a juniper... neither is a "true" cedar. Notice how I've written redcedar as one word, that is the giveway when you are looking at common names that all is not as it seems.

Douglas-fir  ;D

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Should I seal interior use cedar or not?
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2010, 08:56:54 AM »
We have a type called Incense Cedar that is the common one around here and is the type in our cabin.
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